GEI Study Abroad in Rwanda | Global Health

Video and Photos

Birds eye view of a green, hilly landscape
Birds eye view of a green, hilly landscape
Doctors and students stand in front of the hospital in Rwanda
Doctors and students stand in front of the hospital in Rwanda
Giraffe at sunset in Rwanda
Giraffe at sunset in Rwanda
Sunset over a low mountain range with water in the foreground
Sunset over a low mountain range with water in the foreground
GEI Rwanda students and teachers pose for a group photo
GEI Rwanda students and teachers pose for a group photo
A classroom with about 10 students discussing a presentation
A classroom with about 10 students discussing a presentation

About

The 3-week Global Health field course in Rwanda introduces concepts of global health from a unique African perspective. You will learn about the healthcare system in Rwanda and study a major public health concern – infection prevention and control (IPC) in healthcare settings. This topic also allows you to explore various important community healthcare services, such as nutrition programs for mothers and children, health education and promotion, and community health workers and their role.

A week of skills development through classroom learning, workshops, field visits and general cultural immersion is followed by two weeks of service-learning at Rwandan hospitals and health centers. Here, you will work hand in hand with service providers to help assess and discuss different ways to minimize public health risks.

Dates: July 21-August 10, 2019

Highlights
  • Explore healthcare concepts and programs in resource-limited settings.
  • Work hand in hand with local healthcare providers at an urban health center and a rural district hospital.
  • Gain invaluable intercultural competence relevant to your field of study.
  • Explore the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ through unique excursions and a safari.
  • Broaden your personal and professional network, and build lasting international friendships.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 5 reviews
  • Academics 6.8
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 7.4
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
Default avatar
Aimee
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

great cultural experience

I always knew I wanted to study abroad, but it was an overwhelming thought with all of the options of places to go, figuring out how to make it work with my university and all the little details in between. GEI helped make the entire process smooth and seamless.
This program also allowed me to grow and mature as an individual by placing myself in unfamiliar situations. I was able to experience a culture that I would never be able to find in my country, thanks to working hand in hand with local students in a rural health center. Rwanda is this tiny landlocked country in East Africa made of rolling hills, mountains, lakes and valleys and too often associated with the tragic 1994 genocide only. This country has so much to offer today! Kigali is a gorgeous city with great weather and dozens of interesting places to visit! We went to some of them during the three weeks spent there, like the Genocide Memorial. It was also very exciting to go on a safari excursion to Akagera National Park, three hours north of Kigali, with zebras, rhinos, hippos, buffalos, giraffes but we didn’t see lions, unfortunately.
I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in public or community health!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I was very surprised to see that Rwanda is such a peaceful and safe country. I was expecting much more chaos on the road, open air dumps but I discovered a very orderly and clean country instead. That taught me a great deal about prejudices :-)!
Default avatar
Ashley
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Ashley Moreno Review

I greatly enjoyed this experience. I loved having class time and experiences with native Rwandan students. This enhanced the ultimate cultural immersion experience. I also enjoyed the different actives and places we had the opportunity to visit. The most moving experience of the program was the Azizi life day in the life of rural women in Rwanda, which allowed me to truly understand the daily actives, chores, and struggles of living in rural areas in Rwanda. Seeing and living their daily life made me appreciate all the things I take for granted such as immediate access to clean water. I was able to make friendships with all the University of Rwanda students were shared this amazing experience with, as well as my fellow students from the US.

What would you improve about this program?
The organization of the academic portion of the program. Assignments and expectations were not always explained clearly.
Default avatar
Cody
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Time in Rwanda

For me, the phrase, “Rwanda is people,” is something that I witnessed firsthand during my time in the country. Reality started to set in once I heard some locals share their stories about how their lives were impacted by the genocide that took place just over 20 years ago. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, it was rare to hear people openly discuss in detail what they experienced. However, I also surprised by the willingness of some people to share their stories without any reservations. For example, one of our Rwandan coordinators from G.E.I, shared with us the story of how her family fled during the time of the genocide while she was just a small child. It was truly sobering to hear her share the small details of this experience that she still remembers. Some of the University of Rwanda students who we came to know during the internship were also open to discussing how the genocide affected their families. I think it’s important that the memory of the genocide remains within the hearts of the people – not just for grieving but also for healing. Visiting the genocide museum reinforced this idea and really helped me understand how Rwandan culture has evolved. The people in Rwanda have many great and powerful stories to tell – we just need to listen to them. This is what I tried to do during my time there. Sometimes, with a lot of preconceived notions about the people of a different country, it can be too easy to assume that you already understand the locals. But more important than talking to them, is listening to their point of view. Especially within the context of Infection Control and Prevention, I did my best to listen to what the healthcare workers had to share with us. It could have been easy for us to focus on what was lacking in certain areas regarding IPC, but instead, I think we encouraged positive interactions with the healthcare workers and emphasized the importance of improving, regardless of where you live. By listening to them, I was inspired by their utilization of the resources that were available to them. The healthcare workers were dedicated and diligent. I hope to be able to follow their examples during my own career in the medical field. I also made many friends with locals and those involved in our program. Thanks to the internet and the ease of global communication, I hope to maintain these great relationships for the rest of my life. Overall, I learned a lot from the people of Rwanda. If I were to sum it all up shortly, I would say the biggest lesson I learned from them is the importance of unity. Rwanda is not only a people, but they are one people, united to help the country progress sustainably into the future.

What would you improve about this program?
One thing I would suggest to improve the program would be increasing its duration. Due to our limitations on time, we could only spend so much time in and around the different healthcare facilities. With more time available, we would get a greater exposure to different examples of the various levels of healthcare in Rwanda. This would allow us to increase our understanding of the ins and outs that the healthcare workers deal with from day to day. It can be difficult to work evaluate Infection Control and Prevention in such a short amount of time.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Autumn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IPC in Rwanda

This summer I was able to travel to Rwanda to review their IPC systems and programs in local health centers and district hospitals. The experience was incredible. The work load was enough it allowed me to learn but not heavy enough that it restricted me from experiencing the culture and meeting the local people. I loved this program specifically because of the kindness of the people and the beauty of the country. I would recommend anyone considering traveling abroad to make a stop in Rwanda!

What would you improve about this program?
Better preparation with the University of Rwanda:
-had miscommunications about when and where to be
-the students should also receive academic credit for helping us. they did so much work!
Default avatar
Alex
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Well Organized

This was a very well organized program. We were expected to read documents on infection prevention and control before we arrived, our first week was spent at the University of Rwanda (UR) learning from professors and UR students, and our final two weeks were spent in health care settings applying our knowledge. Everything built on itself.
Perhaps my favorite thing about this experience was the relationships we made with the UR students. Kigali is also an amazing city with a lot to do in your free time.

What would you improve about this program?
This is a new program, and as such there were a few minor kinks that needed to be ironed out. Mainly I think there should be a an incentive for the UR students because they do a lot of work.